Planning a surprise trip to Paris?
This is so awesome! I’m very excited for you!
However, I know that planning the surprise may be nerve-wracking.
But that’s where all the magic happens. And it’s going to be worth the effort.
I’ve compiled the list of ideas to help you do this.
But before we jump into the fun stuff, let’s get one thing straight.
Know Your Audience!
Are they morning people? Do they love puzzles? Are they foodies?
Don’t try to surprise a night-owl friend with a sunrise hike.
You get what I mean. So keep these things in mind as you pick your surprise reveal.
Let’s get to it.
8 Realistic Paris Suprise Trip Reveal Ideas:
1. French Breakfast 🥐🎶
The Idea: Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly baked croissants and Edith Piaf playing softly in the background.
Yeah, that’s the vibe we’re going for.
The Execution: Choose classic French music to set the tone. Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” is an iconic choice that’s universally recognizable and deeply associated with Paris.
Freshly baked croissants would be ideal. Buy them from a local bakery or buy frozen ones in the supermarket (so you can put them in the oven in the morning). Serve them with jam and butter.
You can also go for other French pastries like pain au chocolat.
Serve coffee or hot chocolate.
Use a checkered tablecloth for an authentic café feel. Yes, we are going for cliches here as much as possible.
Add a small vase with fresh flowers, preferably something reminiscent of Paris like lavender or roses.
If they’re not a morning person, consider doing a brunch instead. The key is to ensure they are relaxed and not rushed.
Place the plane tickets or a printed itinerary inside a French novel or a travel guide on Paris.
Pro Tip: After the reveal, spend some time discussing the trip. Show them the places you’ll visit in Paris to keep the excitement going.
2. Movie Night & Memory Book 🎬📖
The Idea: Cozy up for a movie night featuring “Midnight in Paris” or “Amélie,” then hand over a scrapbook filled with your best memories together.
The last page? “Our Next Adventure: Paris!”
The Execution: Create a cozy movie-watching space with comfortable seating and dim lights.
Offer French-inspired snacks like macarons, cheese, and grapes. For drinks, consider French wine or sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
Compile photos and mementos from your past adventures together. This could be photos, ticket stubs, or even small notes about your favorite memories.
Wait until you’re settled in and enjoying the movie. Hand over the memory book during a quiet moment or right after the movie.
Pro Tip: Include some funny or embarrassing photos in the scrapbook. It’ll get you both laughing and reminiscing.
3. The “Paris in a Box” 🎁
The Idea: A box that’s like a mini treasure chest of Paris. Think of it as a sneak-peek into what awaits in the City of Light.
The Execution: A simple wooden box or even a nicely decorated shoebox will do the trick. Feel free to jazz it up with some Parisian flair – stickers, drawings, you name it!
Make it look pretty! Arrange everything neatly.
Fill it up with Parisian wonders – a mini Eiffel Tower, a bottle of French wine, macarons, chocolate, a Paris travel guidebook.
Tailor the contents to their tastes. Are they into art? Tuck in a mini guide to the Louvre. More of a foodie? Focus on gourmet French snacks.
Pro Tip: Pick a chill moment, like a lazy Sunday afternoon or a quiet weekday evening.
4. The QR Code Surprise 📱
The Idea: Place a QR code on a gift or card that leads to a video or website revealing the trip.
The Execution: Make a short video or a simple webpage that reveals the trip. Include images of Paris, maybe a bit of French music in the background and your excited message.
Generate the QR Code. There are plenty of free QR code generators online. Just input the link to your video or webpage, and voilà, you have your code!
Stick the QR code onto a card with a message like “Scan me for a surprise!” Or get creative and place it on something like a mock boarding pass.
Tip: Make sure the QR code is easily scannable and the link actually works.
5. The Paris-Themed Scavenger Hunt 📱🔍
The Idea: Transform the excitement of discovering Paris into a digital scavenger hunt. You can use QR codes for this as well.
The Execution: Each code when scanned can reveal a clue or an interesting fact about Paris, leading up to the big reveal of the trip.
Hide these QR codes around the house, in their daily items, or even send them through emails.
Each QR code clue should build anticipation and curiosity. Start with broader clues.
6. The “French Cooking Class Twist” 🍲👩🍳
The Idea: Sign up for a French cooking class together. At the end of the class, present them with a recipe card that says, “Ingredients for the Perfect Trip: You + Me + Paris.”
The Execution: Find a local cooking school that offers French cuisine classes.
Make a cute recipe card. On the front write down an actual French recipe you’re going to cook during the class.
On the back print or write “Ingredients for the Perfect Trip: You + Me + Paris.”
After you’ve cooked and enjoyed your French meal, hand them the recipe card as a keepsake.
Pro Tip: Brief the cooking instructor beforehand. They might play along and add to the surprise!
7. Virtual Reality Reveal 🕶️🌐
The Idea: Use virtual reality (VR) to transport them to Paris. At the end of the VR experience, reveal that they’ll be seeing it all in person.
The Execution: Rent or borrow VR gear and find a virtual tour of Paris.
Create a comfortable space for them to enjoy the VR experience.
At the end of the tour, have a custom VR message or take off the headset to reveal decorations indicating the trip to Paris.
8. The “Photo Booth” Surprise 📸🎉
The Idea: Set up a photo booth with props like berets and mustaches.
After a few silly shots, hold up a sign that says, “We’re going to Paris!”
The Execution: Set up the photo booth. Use a corner of your home or a backdrop. Decorate it with images of Paris.
Gather props like berets, fake mustaches, a mini Eiffel Tower, and French flag scarves. The sillier, the better!
After a few fun shots, secretly switch to a sign that reads, “We’re going to Paris!” and capture their reaction when they see it.
Pro Tip: To make it even more realistic you could set up the photo booth during a small gathering or party, so it feels like part of the event.
The Ultimate Pro Tips
- Timing is everything! Reveal the surprise when they’re not swamped with work or other commitments.
- Capture the moment. Seriously, get that camera ready. Their reaction will be priceless.
No matter which route you go, the key is to make it your own.
I once revealed a surprise trip with a simple handwritten letter and it was cute and memorable. Sometimes less is more.
The Pre-Reveal Checklist
Before you execute your grand plan here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re all set:
- Confirm travel dates and bookings
- Check their schedule to ensure they’re free
- Test any tech elements (QR codes, playlists, etc.)
- Think of a backup plan. If the initial reveal idea doesn’t work out (like a canceled cooking class), have a simple yet heartfelt backup reveal method, like a handwritten note or a candlelit dinner at home.
- Have a camera ready to capture the moment.
- Be ready for any reaction – sometimes surprises can be overwhelming or unexpected.
The Post-Reveal – What’s Next?
After the big reveal, the excitement is just beginning!
Here are some next steps:
- Discuss travel logistics and any must-see spots
- Start a shared Pinterest board or Google Doc for trip planning
Wrapping It Up
So, which idea has got you buzzing with excitement? Share with us in the comments below.
And when you’re ready to start planning your trip here are some of our posts to help guide you